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Every so often I have a few cells from a batch of queen cells where the larva gradually crawl down and out of the cells, meanwhile the bees extend the queen cell walls, apparently in an attempt to keep the larva confined to the cells. The cells thus affected become highly elongated, but are never sealed, the larva evict themselves before the cells are sealed.

The first time I saw this happen was at a time when the bees were harvesting a large amount of Prickley Pear fruit juice. During this time the royal jelly turned pink and the affected queen larvae did too. All the larva thus affected had their cells elongated three times their normal length, then they crawled out of their cells and the cells were cleaned out by the bees.

Just recently a few of the cells in my most recent batch responded just like this, but without any evidence of pink discoloration of Prickley Pear juice. Actually there are no Prickley Pear plants with fruits or even with flowers at this time of year.

Has anyone else seen this? Does anyone know what causes this?
 

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Its not terribly unusual to occasionally get this type of deformed queen cell and the problem usually dosnt last too long. Unfortunately you will probably never know what caused it (unless you have recently used Check Mite) it could be some type of environment cause such as a pesticide used nearby or possibly a problem source of pollen or nectar at a level that only seems to show up in queen cells. I have found a regular feeding and pollen supplement program will help.
 

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I've had it happen three times, but only once in one of my starter hives, but in my case they eventually sealed all the q cells. I destroyed all but two and put those two into nucs. one was perfectly fine the other layed some eggs that were fine, but the majority of the cells they capped with a bubble top, the bees that hatched weren't worker or droans, not sure what they were, but eventually replaced the queen. I've asked a few people about it and they alll look at me like I'm crazy. the next batch of queens in the same starter were just fine, a starter right next to the first, their queen cells were just fine, so I eliminated lack of food, pesticides etc, the lava in both starters came from the same queen, I'm guessing that bees have bad hair days and this was one of them
 
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